6 FOCUS - JANUARY 2019 Antonio Toyota plant without a new vehicle to produce. Again, a ringing phone – this time, a cold call – offered a fresh direction. “Vestas Corp. approached me about heading up a new wind turbine factory in Colorado. I jumped at the chance. Our family would grow to three children and Mirela and I felt ‘at-home’ there.” “I’d help start up two plants before the economy bottomed out.” Adam took advantage of a lighter work schedule to pursue an MBA. It would prove a fateful choice. “I met the co-founders of TekDry in the program.” As part of their Innovation class, the group drafted a proposal for a machine to recover wet electronic devices. “Ironically, the drying machine was not the top of our list. But we’d heard of drying items in vacuum chambers, and agreed modern society was de- pendent on phones and computers. “The others were more Marketing- centric,whileIbroughtanEngineering perspective. That diversity made us an ideal team.” Eventually, newly-formed TekDry patented its technology, and slowly began marketing the devices. “We ultimately put them into 600 Staples stores.” Any businessperson knows stand- ing still can prove fatal, even after a blush of success. Adam’s team began networking in search of additional applications. “Medicine offered exciting op- portunities: to dry and sterilize their equipment. We’re testing now and ex- pect,nextyear,tomeetFDAstandards. “Drying electronics is definitely gratifying, and often emotional for the user when we recover its data. But this is a chance to help save lives and decrease health care costs. The scale is huge.” Questioned about the risk of potential boredom from TekDry’s apparent stability, Adam smiles. “No, not this time! Ideas are al- ways percolating, so there are fresh challenges.” He’s spent almost three decades globetrotting and shifting career di- rections. But Adam’s feelings about returning home prove that you can take the boy out of the town, but not the town out of the boy. “I think fondly of my youth in Port Perry and the stable foundation it gave me. And wherever I’ve gone, or go, I feel like I’m not swimming that far from shore.” By Scott Mercer, Focus on Scugog Adam Cookson (continued from page 4) Adam with his wife Mirela and children Leonardo (16), Celina (13) and Lucas (11). Adam and TekDry investor Rob Knapp volunteering in Houston during 2017 Hurricane Harvey flood using TekDry machines to rescue flood victims’ phones - August 2017. Your local Stihl dealer. Always in good hands. 4179 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa 905-655-3291 • www.durhamkubota.ca When Quality Counts